Panic Attack in Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms & Tips to Control

Panic Attack During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rashmi Prakash (Psychologist/Psychotherapist)
View more Psychologist/Psychotherapist Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy will be an ecstatic experience for a new mommy-to-be. However, that may not be the only emotion she is laden with. Pregnancy is a life-changing experience, and negative emotions like worry and anxiety may bother the new mom. Feeling joyous and happy is good for the mother’s overall health and well-being, and any kind of negative feelings and emotions may have an adverse impact on her health. Interested in knowing how to deal with a panic attack during pregnancy? Read through the following article, where we shall be discussing the causes and symptoms of a panic attack during pregnancy. We’ll also provide various tips to control panic attacks during pregnancy.

Are Panic Attacks Normal During Pregnancy?

It is very normal for a would-be-mommy to feel concerned about the well-being of her unborn child, and sometimes these concerns, if too many and too frequent, may result in a panic attack. It is observed that almost 10 percent of pregnant women experience a panic attack during their pregnancy journey. Even if you have never experienced any panic attack before in your life, there may be a possibility that you may experience it during pregnancy.

Who Is at Risk of Suffering Panic Attacks While Pregnant?

Wondering if you are at a risk of having a panic attack? Well, as discussed above, panic attacks are very common and extremely normal during pregnancy. It may affect any woman, irrespective of the fact that she may have experienced it before or not. However, it is seen that women who are natural worriers, and have a tendency to worry, are more prone to panic attacks developing from normal anxiety.

Pregnant woman scared

What Causes Panic Attack in Pregnancy?

Following are some reasons that may cause this situation during pregnancy:

1. If You Have Experienced It Before

It is quite likely that if you have suffered a panic attack in the past, you may suffer it during your pregnancy, too. This may happen because the anxiety and other triggers of the attack may be present during pregnancy, too, and thus, may make you more prone to it.

2. Your Changing Hormones

Pregnancy makes your body undergo many changes, and it affects your hormonal balance too. The hormones are directly related to emotions, and thus, changing hormones during pregnancy may be one of the major contributors towards these attacks.

3. Your Age or Phase of Life

It is seen that if you get pregnant around a certain age or phase of your life where you may usually be more prone to panic attacks, then it is quite likely that you may have one.

4. Increased Anxiety During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time that may make any woman anxious and concerned about the well-being of her unborn child. Where some women may take these anxiety issues in their stride, others may get too tensed, which may lead to panic attacks.

Symptoms of Panic Attacks When Pregnant

Here we shall be discussing some pregnancy panic attack symptoms, which may help you understand whether you may be suffering from this condition:

Panic attack rapid heartbeat

Will Panic Attacks Affect Your Baby?

A panic attack may not be good for your baby during pregnancy. This is because you may feel nauseous or dizzy in such a condition, which in turn may hamper with the blood supply to the placenta. The reduced blood supply may result in low oxygen to the placenta, which may lead to low birth weight babies or premature babies. Also, a mother who experiences a panic attack during pregnancy may be more prone to baby blues after the birth of the baby.

Tips to Deal with Panic Attacks While Pregnant

Wondering how to control panic attacks during pregnancy? Here we have some tips that may help you deal with a panic attack during pregnancy:

1. Know More About Panic Attacks

It is important that you understand this condition better so that you may be better prepared to deal with it. If you have had panic attacks before pregnancy, then it will be a good idea to understand what may be the possible triggers for it. Once you know your triggers, you may be better prepared to deal with the situation during pregnancy. Also, if you have not experienced it before, then pregnancy in itself is a good enough reason for you to know about it. For example, hyperventilation is known as one of the main reasons behind panic attacks. If you know more about this condition and recognise the triggers in advance, it may help you to stay calm and positive when an attack may occur.

2. Go for Regular Check-Ups

Panic usually occurs when you may not be sure of what is going with your health or your baby’s health. However, if you pay regular visits to your doctor and know how your pregnancy may be progressing, you may not hit the panic button that easily. Also, seeing your doctor on a regular basis may help you solve or deal with your various pregnancy concerns or queries.

Panic Attack During Pregnancy

3. Spend Time on Self-Care

As soon as you become pregnant, your focus may shift from your well-being to your baby’s well-being, which may be very natural. However, you need to be taking care of yourself, too. It is important that you spend time taking care of yourself, which not only means physical health, but emotional health, too. Taking care of your needs may help in keeping stress and anxiety at bay, which in turn may help in battling a panic attack. Some self-care activities may include meditation, yoga, getting enough rest, stress management skills, etc. You may consult your doctor before you plan on doing any physical activity.

4. Have a Good Support System

There is no denying that family and friends are your true saviours in times of need, and dealing with a panic attack during pregnancy is no exception. Just knowing the fact that you have your partner, parents, siblings, or friends by your side may give you much-needed peace of mind. Also, if you feel that you may require them by your side, you should not shy away from giving them a call. Emotional support is imperative in dealing with any kind of panic-stricken situations during pregnancy.

Panic attacks are a very normal phenomenon during pregnancy, and with proper medical guidance and care, you may be able to handle this situation better, and have a healthy and hassle-free pregnancy.

Also Read: Heart Palpitations in Pregnancy

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